When someone struggles with drugs or alcohol, they are typically not the only person to suffer. Addiction can also take a toll on immediate family members, including parents, children, siblings, spouses and even grandparents, for whom the fallout can be nothing short of devastating.
For these close family members, the mental, emotional, relational and financial impact of substance abuse is overwhelming to deal with— without the added burden of stress involving how to help a loved one through addiction (which itself is more than enough to bear). Inevitably, too, the family dynamics that enabled a drug or alcohol habit can be hard to break, only further complicating the urgent task of recovery.
Lasting freedom from drugs and alcohol is more achievable when both clients and their families feel loved and supported in the recovery process. Research shows that family therapy can improve substance abuse treatment outcomes, and that the stronger the family, the better the recovery outcome. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
If your loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol, you need to know that you’re not alone, and that Beach House Center for Recovery is here to help, having developed our Family Program with your and your loved one’s recovery in mind. As many as two thirds of American families have been touched by drug or alcohol addiction, according to a national survey in 2004. Nonetheless, many families do not get the help they need because of the stigma of addiction— when in fact family counseling, support and therapy are a proven pathway to long-term healing and recovery, according to the research. Our Family Program is the outgrowth of that research, as an answer to families’ needs for substance abuse therapy and confidential connection and support.
What Is the Family Program?
Family programs for addiction can differ in the services and supports they offer and the quality of these offerings. At Beach House Center for Recovery, our Family Program for drug and alcohol addiction is available free of charge to anyone whose loved one is or was in treatment at Beach House Center for Recovery.
Here is what to expect in types of services offered and the benefits of family counseling exclusive to our Family Program:
- A Wellness Program, which provides a more intensive level of personalized support and care to families of Beach House clients who feel they need it, including:
- Highly personalized advice and support, including tips for how not to enable a loved one’s addiction during treatment and after
- Caring and experienced Wellness Coordinators who are available 24/7 to take your calls
- Trusted referrals to support groups, therapists and other drug and alcohol family supports
- Access to a private Facebook group for families affiliated with our programs, offering recovery-related advice, support, and opportunities to connect
- Regular weekly phone updates on your loved one’s progress in treatment from their primary therapist
- A Two-Day Intensive Workshop in beautiful, coastal Juno Beach, Florida, easily accessible to all major airports, that resources clients and families with:
- Education about the disease model of addiction and its impact on the family, including common family dynamics of addiction like “codependency” and “enabling” (and tips for how not to enable an addiction during and after rehab)
- Education about the treatment process
- Coaching regarding healthy communication skills and other coping tools for life with a loved one in early recovery
- Tips for adjusting to life after rehab
- Group and individual therapy sessions with your loved one in treatment, supervised by a licensed marriage and family therapist
Clients who are more motivated in treatment and less likely to relapse after they leave our drug and alcohol programs often have the support of a strong and healthy family that is also actively engaged in the work of healing and recovery. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
Why Family Therapy Matters to Recovery – Benefits of Family Counseling for Addiction
Families naturally want to know how family therapy can help their loved one. They should find hope and solace in knowing that a large body of research has shed light on the many benefits of family counseling for addiction. These include:
- Greater awareness on the part of you and your loved one about your feelings and behaviors, and how these may be contributing to a substance abuse problem
- Healthy stress coping devices (“self-care”) that help you better care for yourself as you care for your loved one
- Tools for improving the quality of your relationship, including healthier communication skills
- Education about codependency and behaviors that may be enabling an addiction and how to correct these dysfunctional patterns
- Greater understanding about how addiction is a “family disease” that affects the whole family system and the necessary components of a healthy family system that deters substance abuse and motivates recovery
- Lowering the risks of passing on an addiction to future generations
- Reducing the symptoms of a dual diagnosis or co-occurring mental illness that affects nearly half of all people with addiction and is often closely linked with substance abuse
Considered together, these many benefits of family counseling for addiction illustrate why family therapy matters to recovery. In addition, research has shown that substance abuse and family therapy can improve treatment outcomes, by:
- encouraging a loved one to enter treatment
- improving the effectiveness of treatment interventions
- decreasing problems associated with addiction
- increasing motivation for treatment, including treatment engagement and retention
- lowering the risks of relapse
We developed our Family Program on the basis of an abundance of research showing that family support and involvement improve addiction treatment outcomes. I’ve found the same to be true in my own work with clients. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
Learn more about how family therapy can improve communication skills in recovery, reduce the symptoms of a dual diagnosis, and can boost long-term recovery from addiction. Or, explore Dual Diagnosis Treatment for your loved one.
How Does the Family Program Work?
A substance use disorder (SUD) impacts the entire family system, which is why addiction is sometimes referred to as a “family disease.” Unknowingly, family members often take on any one of a number of new roles as a way to cope with and compensate for the addiction. The resulting “homeostasis” can be fraught with dysfunction that, if left untreated, may impede a client’s long-term recovery.
Our Wellness Program, Two-Day Intensive Workshop or both, can give families a leg-up in achieving long-term recovery for their loved one and for themselves. The more supported our families are, the better able they are to engage in healthy self-care while providing support to their loved one in healthy ways.
By encouraging and optimizing family engagement and support, our Family Program gives clients and their families a firm, evidence-based foothold in recovery that has the potential to have a lasting positive impact across a lifetime. – Chief Clinical Officer Anna Ciulla, LMHC, RD, LD
Participation in our Family Program is totally optional, free of charge, and available to family members whose loved one has given them signed consent to participate. Family members of current clients in our drug and alcohol programs are eligible to participate in the Two-Day Intensive Workshop, while family members of both clients and alumni are eligible to begin participating in our Wellness Program at any time and for as long as they choose.
Whereas the Two-Day Intensive Workshop is a one-time offering for families of clients who are currently in one of our treatment programs, the Wellness Program is tailored to meet needs for support and referrals as these arise, whether during a client’s program of treatment or after their discharge from treatment.